An Introduction to the Magical World of Wonderdal
A world of wonder has emerged at Hazendal Wine Estate. Wonderdal Edutainment Centre is a one of a kind, state-of-the-art educational play experience for children age 5 to 13.
A first of its kind in South Africa, Wonderdal, as the name implies, is a place full of wonders. Wonderdal Edutainment Centre combines advanced technology with physical elements to create an innovatively designed indoor space and a creative outdoor play area. While engaging and interacting with Wonderdal’s activities and learning zones, children learn about topics related to Natural Sciences and Life Skills that are covered by the South African school’s curriculum, including the various forms of energy, plant growing and healthy nutrition. The interactive experiences stimulate children’s imagination, creativity and curiosity, and encourage them to explore, learn and experiment in a playful way. The activities at Wonderdal can also help children develop a set of important and useful skills, from fine and gross motor skills to problem solving, critical and creative thinking, as well as reading and listening comprehension skills.
As children journey through Wonderdal, they are accompanied by the Amuki, the virtual reality inhabitants of Wonderdal. The Amuki are friendly, leafy, quirky creatures who guide young visitors through their Wonderdal experience. Together with their new Amuki friend, Wonderdal’s adventurers will create energy, collect mysterious crystals, listen to stories, read books, grow imaginary plants, cook delicious virtual meals, climb, balance, jump, build, discover and have fun.
Education Taken to the Next Level
Wonderdal takes a holistic approach to children’s education. It is a unique mix of physically and mentally stimulating activities, high-tech and low-tech elements, that create an innovative educational platform for children and educators alike. It takes the learning process to a different level and allow children to learn while they play and play while they learn. This form of learning, referred to as ‘Edutainment’, is a form of entertainment that is designed to educate as well as to entertain. It plays an important role in modern and innovative educational methods and its positive contribution to the learning process is being recognized by educators worldwide. All of Wonderdal’s activities are CAPS-aligned and designed for school learners from Grade R to Grade 7, making Wonderdal a unique destination for school outings. With the help and guidance of educational consultants, special packs were created for teachers, allowing them to connect their learners’ experience to their classroom teaching and the curriculum, and to facilitate a classroom experience in one of Wonderdal’s three equipped classrooms.
A Heaven for Kids, A Dream for Parents
Wonderdal is a wonderful place not only for children and teachers, but also for parents. They can either enjoy quality time with their kids, or entrust them in the capable hands of the ‘Wonderpals’, the trained supervisors at Wonderdal, while relaxing and enjoying any of the various culinary and cultural offerings at Hazendal Wine Estate, the beautiful historical wine estate where Wonderdal is located. Our Wonderpals are here to give parents the peace of mind that responsible trained staff is assisting their children with the activities, attending to their needs and taking them safely through the Wonderdal journey. After a day at Wonderdal and Hazendal, parents will leave relaxed, delighted by the fun experience their kids enjoyed and feeling proud of the young ones’ achievements and development.
The Learning Zones at Wonderdal
Wonderdal consists of the following learning zones:
Kora, the Tree of Light
The Tree of Light grows in the middle of Wonderdal.
Here, learners can generate motion energy by playing a physical hand-cycling game and can climb through the trunk of Kora to play on her branches.
A workshop sheltered by Tinker Trees where learners can experiment with different kinds of energy and engage in tinkering activities such as building electrical circuits and designing marble runs. A Wind Tunnel gives learners the opportunity to play engineer and explore the aerodynamics of their own designs.
In the Wonder Garden learners encounter a fully immersive digital landscape that provides a fantastical experience of how plants grow. Learners can play gardener and grow different imaginary plant types. They can choose which one to nurture and grow it from a seed or sapling to a fully fruited plant in a matter of minutes.
In the virtual Health Kitchen learners will have the opportunity to cook a meal for their Amuki friend, using basic processing methods like chopping, frying and blending. The Amuki provide feedback and teach their human friends how to create a balanced meal. In the Health Kitchen the Amuki demonstrate that healthy food is an important source of energy for a healthy body.
In this zone, children can have a break from the buzzing activity of Wonderdal. They can listen to educational audio stories on the adventures of the Amuki in special nooks or spend some time in solitude reading from the many books in the Wonderdal library.
At the edge of Kora’s realm, beyond Wonderdal, lies an area that is wild and untamed. Here children can stretch their legs and engage in various thrilling physical activities.
Introducing the Amuki
The inhabitants of Wonderdal Edutainment Centre are the Amuki – friendly, quirky and highly intelligent creatures with shimmering, colourful bodies and leafy ears. The five Amuki (Zylo, Timpa, Shekku, Gomma, Vuvu), are the Guardians of Sun, Care, Water, Earth and Air – all the elements that are needed in order to grow plants and maintain life. Wonderdal’s visitors get a special magical bracelet, which enables them to see and communicate with their Amuki, who would otherwise be invisible to them. The Amuki love exploring, gardening, engaging in scientific experiments, collecting crystals, playing games and making sure that Kora gets the energy she needs to grow.
The Amuki were created to aid the development of empathy in children by establishing the need to protect and care for another living being. They are there to guide a visitor through the space and create a connection point to the narrative and be relatable for young children. The Amuki characters mannerisms and actions are based on young children’s behaviour and movements – they are curious, clumsy, adventurous and playful. The Amuki represent different looks and personality types for kids to relate to and identify with. They depict a utopian social order, the most important value of which is that creatures are different but equal. They instantly become the visitors virtual friends and their interactions with the kids helps in making their experience even more unique and memorable.
The ethos at Hazendal Wine Estate is that of giving back to the community, trying to identify the needs of our people and environment with a sustainable solution. As such, Wonderdal will become an important vehicle to drive that vision. A programme, in conjunction with educational and children’s charities, is being developed to enable learners, teachers and schools from disadvantaged areas to also experience the magic of Wonderdal where the educational cornerstone will assist both learners and teachers in solidifying their understanding of Natural Science and Life Skills through a fantasy-filled adventure.
For more information and bookings, visit www.wonderdal.co.za.